Product Planning Distribution Channels and Market Segmentation

Assessing consumers’ present and emerging value orientations can help the marketer identify new product opportunities and achieve better product positioning among consumer segments. For example as values such as pleasure, an exciting life, comfortable life and self respect increase in importance, the marketer may find a need for having products with brand names, colors, and designs that enhance these important values. Consider a furniture manufacturer who might link these hanging values with a growing demand for furniture style and design that incorporate bright colors, bold designs, unique materials of construction, and unusual comfort features.

Some value segments contain many consumers, and this suggests that products can be positioned by designing them with attributes that are related to the global values distinguishing that particular market segment. For example, a segment of consumers who regard the values imaginative an exciting life and independent as important might be defined as group which is concerned with individuality and self expression. The group might be a reliable segment for marketers of products that are partially finished (such as furniture and homes) and products that can be tailored to the individual needs of consumers through the use of accessories styling chemical formulation and so on. Marketers of homes, automobiles clothing, cosmetics and fast foods have successfully used this approach.

Therefore contemporary marketing offering require periodic audits of product and service lines to determine how well they satisfy the complex needs and wants of changing consumer.

Distribution Channels:

Changing consumer value systems may lead to different shopping patterns, and new outlets may be necessary to reach consumers. For instance the ego involved self gratifying values of the market place offer many retiling challenges and opportunities. For time pressured consumers, retailers may offer in home catalog shopping of toll free telephone ordering of merchandise. Stores may use discounts and special offers to shift non-employed consumers to off peak hours in order to expedite hopping by the most time-impoverished consumers. Even drive in churches and funeral parlors exist for those who don’t have time to get out of their cars.

Promotion: New approaches in copy and artwork are called for in communicating memorably and persuasively with changing consumers. There are a number of ways that advertising is moving to appeal to the values of this new society: (1) defiance of social taboos; (2) more informative copy; (3) more true to life vignettes; (4) more advertising that names and debates competitors; (5) more advertising segmented toward the higher educated, higher income groups; (6) more advertising that frankly acknowledges mounting public cynicism about advertising ; (7) greater tress on ecology; (8) more advertising that realistically not paternalistically, acknowledges omen’s changing role in our society; and (9) advertising that breaks with tradition.

Market Segmentation: Knowledge of consumer value orientations provides a measurable set of variables, related to needs, which gives the marketer insight beyond merely demographic and psychographic dimensions. The growing diversity of individual tastes, coupled with a hedonistic philosophy and increasing incomes are contributing to ever greater segmentation of the market. Thus, understanding such value shifts in American society could be useful in predicting changing consumption patterns for products. Also, the marketer might be able to identify large market segments on the basis of value profiles and then develop programs that would emphasize those values important to each consumer segment. For example, when one group views a product in terms of status and another views it in a more functional way, then different promotional messages are likely to be needed for each group, as well as perhaps tailored products.

It will be necessary for marketers to assess the changes in size and composition of value segments in the marketplace and to understand the implications of these shifts for company activities. Here, marketing research will be useful for conducting broad based longitudinal studies to identify changes in value orientations. Such research may be helpful in uncovering smaller blocs of consumers within the overall US culture who emphasize significantly different cultural values than do the dominant cultural groups. Such groups are often referred to as countercultures.